Stitching Theta Z1 HDR Rendered Pictures

Have you evaluated the dual-fisheye plug-in by Ichi Hirota? The plug-in is free. There are some inexpensive add-ons that can speed up the workflow.

This is a series of apps that includes DNG transfer to mobile and Stitching and mobile. If you have questions, ask them here.

For HDR pictures inside the THETA Z1, there are two modes:

  • HDR
  • Handheld HDR

If you are using a tripod, HDR is best. If you are holding the camera on a selfie stick Hh HDR is best.

Can you post the stitching problem? (screenshot of small area)

If you want to post the actual image, you’ll need to put the image up on someplace like Google Drive and then put a link to the image on this forum.

Perhaps unrelated to HDR internal rendering, I was thinking of doing tests with the stitching for bracketed shots.

I do not know if the settings below have any impact on the internal HDR. I do not think the settings below can be adjusted with the official mobile app, but @jcasman and I looking into building a mobile app to make these adjustments. I’ve been waiting because I’m not sure what “dynamic” stitching is what problems are solved with “static” versus “dynamic” stitching.

I have tried the DNG bracketed photos but I found that they still do not come out nearly as crisp as the HDR Rendered pictures…especially when it comes to blown out windows. Here are two pictures that show the stitching lines. They aren’t major but I want to make sure the pictures look as professional as possible before I start to offer them. The Theta stitcher plugin that I use after editing in Lightroom will not let me upload due to them being JPEGs and not DNG files. I tried to convert and safe the pictures as DNG’s and than uploaded them to Lightroom again to try and open in the plugin but it is saying that the original needs to be a DNG.

Thank you for posting the picture. That stitch line is more noticeable than you should see with standard HDR (done inside the camera). I don’t have that line on my Z1 HDR (internally created) images. Are you viewing the images with the desktop browser?

Did you just get the camera? If so, have you upgraded the camera to the newest firmware with either the desktop or mobile app?

If you want to pursue stacked DNG for real estate, here’s an example:

If you have facebook, you can see the 360 image here and assess the color of the window scene.

The THETA stitcher for lightroom is only used if the input is DNG.

There are a number of options for this type of real estate photography.

  1. Use internal HDR with tripod. The output is JPG. You can quickly get this up on your tour site. This is the easiest
  2. Timeshift plug-in with tripod. You can quickly take pictures using one lens on each side and then the camera will merge the pictures.
  3. Single DNG. This provides more light info than standard JPG and also has reduced ghosting compensation issue of HDR (which might not be relevant for real estate). You need to stitch the image. The output of the stitching is JPG. The input is a DNG file.
  4. DNG HDR for even more light info. You need to merge the files inside the camera into a stacked DNG. This is automatic witha camera plug-in.

I think other people can provide more information on the best technique.

There’s a lot of different options, so I think it can be confusing.

You are welcome! The strange thing is that the line isn’t consistently as distinct for every picture. For example, I can’t see the line at all in this picture which I took along with the previous 2. No, I use the Kuula program to view all of my pictures and to create all of my virtual tours. Is there a better program that works better with the Theta Z1?

I have had the camera for a few months and as far as I know my firmware is up to date. As of yesterday it was update 4.10.1 and the app update was 1.29.0.

Thank you so much for that! Those look great.

I would love to just use the first option for ease and overall quality.


I discovered that this line occurs only AFTER I upload and edit it in Lightroom. Attached are the same picture. The first one is without editing in Lightroom and the 2nd is after editing. Any idea as to why?

See this for an explanation:

Conclusion: Edit the DNG images and stitch afterwards!


@CorLeone, good memory. I had forgot about the update for 360 Pano Support in Adobe Camera Raw. Nice.

Thank you guys! I finally figured it out and they are looking fantastic now! Really appreciate all your help!


We want to get static stitching, in hdr mode. But in our tests, we get that in hdr mode, stitching is auto, no matter what parameter is set. If HDR is disabled, stitching works correctly, according to the specified parameters. We want to understand why this is happening?

We are using Ricoh Theta Z1 with firmware 2.11.1 Requests are sent via WebAPI

@ravil thank you for your tests and the pictures.
Z1 fw 2.11.1, WebAPI.
summary: _imageStitching parameters have no effect when _filter is set to hdr. stitching is also set to auto.

Can you advise on the use case for this?

My idea on communication process:

  1. @jcasman and I will ask RICOH if this is the “expected” behavior or if it is something that is “unexpected”
  2. If it is “unexpected” and can be corrected by “API configuration”, then we will report back to you here.
  3. if it requires firmware modification, they need to decide if they will fix it and in what timeframe

If the process reaches the third step, your use case would be valuable information in the decision process. You can also send the use case directly to

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@craig thank you for the quick response. We will duplicate the information to and wait for a response.

We’re trying to meet with a RICOH manager tomorrow.

Note that in the US, we have Thanksgiving on Thursday. This holiday often extends to Friday.

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@ravil I got your emails with more details, thank you. As @craig mentioned, we will report this to RICOH and try to understand if this is expected behavior or not.

One question: I looked at the _imageStitching API and it has this section about restrictions (screenshot below). What shooting method are you using to take pictures?

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Hi @jcasman. We use _filter: hdr, and with these settings, _shootingMethod is automatically set to normal

OK, understood. Thank you for confirming.

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@jcasman as @ravil noted, they are using hdr filter, which is not listed in the restrictions.

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Can you upload the original image from the Z1 for two scenarios:

  1. no filter, _imageStitching static
  2. hdr filter, imageStitching static

You will need to upload to a cloud service such as Google Drive. The file is likely too large to put directly into the forum.

Please either put the links in this forum or send the two links to by email or by DM.

Also, have you considered stitching of none or the dual-fisheye raw and then build the 3D reconstruction from the dual-fisheye images. This will avoid the stitching differences.

Hi @craig,
I’ve sent you the photos you asked for via e-mail.
Yes, we did consider dual fish-eye in the beginning, but gave up this idea for the following reasons:

  1. The camera (Z1) does not seem to support dual fish-eye in HDR mode. When we tried to take HDR dual fisheye, the camera made a sound and shut itself down. Please do let me know if there are plans to include this option in the future :blush:
  2. Taking 3-5-7 photos with different exposures and downloading them to a mobile device for further HDR stitching takes too much time for us. The time limit for our application is to return result within 10-20 sec.
  3. Performing 3D reconstruction from dual fisheyes directly would require intrinsic/extrinsic calibration for every lens for every individual camera. We can do this in our lab (I think…), but users of our application may not have access to calibration boards, lighting etc.

My understanding is that calibration parameters for the lenses are not disclosed. Do let me know if I am wrong, knowledge of those parameters would help me a lot :blush:
May I ask – what model would you recommend for Z1 lenses? Is Scaramuzza’s model sufficient for such a wide angle?

Thanks a lot for your help!

Thank you. We discussed your problem with a RICOH product manager yesterday and we discussed that the best course of action is to send the original photos to engineering for advice.

Oh, we forgot about the lack of dual-fisheye in HDR mode. I understand now. Thanks for reminding me.

this is understandable.

This is understandable.

The calibration parameters are not disclosed. It’s not possible to get these parameters.

We can informally ask some of our contacts at RICOH.

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@ravil as the X appears to work with (_filter = hdr and _imageStitching = static), we can assume that this is “unexpected behavior” with Z1. At the current time, we do not know the timeframe for any potential improvements.

Note that I have not tested the X myself with the above settings. However, I have heard that other people have tested it.

Regarding (_filter = hdr and _imageStitching = none), it appears to not work with 2.10.3, but does appear to work with firmware 2.11.1 (appears to have been fixed).

As the lens calibration data is not disclosed, stitching the spheres yourself may not meet your requirements. Please confirm.

We do not have an answer right now for (_filter = hdr, _imageStitching = static) on the Z1.

If you want to send additional information to about how a potential fix would beneift your business, he can send the supplemental information to RICOH.

Also, do you have an X to test for comparison? If not, I can test the API of the X myself and post the results here.

This is the status of the Z1 (_filter = hdr, _imageStitching = static) issue.

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